AUTISM: PRESENT CHALLENGES, FUTURE NEEDS--WHY THE INCREASED RATES?
[Note: Shared for #AutisticHistory archive purposes. This is NOT An Autistic Ally.]
Ms. Reynolds. Mr. Chairman and Members, my name is Shelley Reynolds. I live in Baton Rouge, LA with Aidan, my husband of 8 years, and my children, Liam, who is 4, and Mairin, who is 2. I would like to thank you both for holding this hearing and allowing me to testify before you today. I met Aidan in the 10th grade. We were in love with each other from day one. We dated all through college, and we got married as soon as we graduated. We had our own house, two cars, two careers, and two dogs. We were living the American dream. Right after we were married, Hurricane Andrew, one of the most destructive hurricanes to ever hit the United States, slammed through Baton Rouge. Sustained winds of 100 miles an hour ripped off our roof, and 8 days without electricity left us with very little food or water. We promised each other we would never again be unprepared for such a disaster. But 6 years later, hurricane-force winds blew into our home again. This time, the disaster was the diagnosis of autism for our first born son Liam. It completely tore our home apart, and the effects have lasted much longer than 8 days. No amount of preparedness can ready you for a storm such as this. Liam was a normally developing baby until June 27, 1997, when he received his MMR and Hib vaccines. He did everything he was supposed to do. He cooed, rolled over, crept, crawled, pulled up and walked on time. He said ``Mamma,'' he said ``Daddy,'' he said ``Love you.'' He learned how to sing ``Itsy Bitsy Spider.'' He played finger games with us. He loved to interact, and he especially loved to show off for his grandparents. We did all the well-baby checkups on time. I breast-fed him until he was 8 months old. I did not start solid foods until he was 4 months old. We did everything completely by the book. But when he was 17 months old, shortly after he had received the shots, he started exhibiting some different behaviors. He was constantly taking off his shoes; he screamed if we dressed or undressed him; he would stare for hours in front of the television and would not move if you blocked the view. He could not tolerate playing in the sandbox anymore. He did not want to sing any of his favorite songs; he would cover his ears and scream ``No.'' We assumed he was just asserting his independence, since he was almost 2. And somewhere along the way, he developed chronic, nonspecific diarrhea, sometimes 8 to 10 times a day, and still suffers from that 3 years later. By April 1998, I realized that Liam was no longer saying ``Mamma'' or ``Daddy'' or ``Love you,'' so I took him for a speech and language evaluation. They told me that my 27-month- old child had the language capacity of an 8-month-old. This was a child who only months before would chime in ``Ee-i-ee-i-o'' at the appropriate moment when singing ``Old MacDonald.'' What had happened to our beautiful baby boy, and how could we help him? My husband and I decided to become advocates and work for increased funding for autism research and awareness. The answers may not come in time to help our son, but we are hopeful that we can persuade you to see the need for intensive research regarding this disorder which is affecting more and more children every year. In Liam's case, we have no doubt that he developed his autism as a direct result of an adverse vaccine reaction. And personally, if I could strike the belief that my son's autism sprang from a routine childhood vaccination, that I held him down on the table for and had to go back to the Russian roulette of genetics, I would take it in a heartbeat, because the pain of knowing that I inadvertently caused him harm due to blind trust in the medical community, or a matter of inconvenience of yet another office visit taking time away from my job is nearly unbearable. Many in the medical community continue to dismiss this as mere happenstance because autism often coincides with the time of vaccination, and state that there is no scientific evidence to back this up. My question to you is: How long does it take for a coincidence to surface time and time and time again, case after case after case, before it can become a viable hypothesis, especially when the solution to solving the problem seems so apparent? How can pharmaceutical companies concoct substances with mercury, formaldehyde, antifreeze, lead, aluminum, aborted fetal tissue and live viruses and not expect that as they continue to pour these highly toxic and reactive substances into children, increasing dose after dose, all on the same day, that it will not alter their minds and bodies? Why would it be so completely impossible for a child to contract a chronic form of the disease rather than to have the ``proper immunologic response,'' especially if their immune systems are not up to par? And where is their scientific evidence to back up the claim that this cannot happen, when it is published in the very package inserts, in their writing, that they have not studied the effects of these vaccines for more than a few weeks, or longer than the incubation of this disease itself? What happens when you give multiple doses in 1 day or combine different diseases into one hypodermic needle? I need someone to explain to me why it is acceptable to have products on the market that exposed my son to 37.5 micrograms of mercury in 1 day at a time when he should not have been exposed to more than .59 micrograms of mercury given his body weight. I should not be exposed to more than 5 micrograms, and I have 31 years of an immune history behind me. It is completely unacceptable. One size does not fit all when it comes to vaccines. Through our organization, Unlocking Autism, we have talked with thousands and thousands of parents from across the country, and their story is the same: Child is normal; child gets vaccine; child disappears within days or weeks into the abyss of autism. If you doubt me, I invite you to come to the ``Hear Their Silence'' rally on April 8th on the Mall, where the ``Open Your Eyes'' project will be displayed and view the thousands of pictures that we have called and realize that 47 percent of those people who participated believe that vaccines contributed in some way to the development of their child's autism. Parents like me are relying on you to demand that the pharmaceutical companies retrace their steps once again and that the public health community look at the possibility that these things might indeed not just be a coincidence. They obviously have a forced market. They manufacture products that are required for every child in this country. We fear that it is possible that while seeking greater monetary profits, there may be some who have lost sight of the medical community's original goal regarding vaccinations--to protect children from harm. I know my children, and I know what happened to my son. As far as I am concerned, the needle that silently slipped into my baby's leg that day became the shot heard around the world. Thank you. Mr. Burton. Thank you, Ms. Reynolds.
Autistic people have fought the inclusion of ABA in therapy for us since before Autism Speaks, and other non-Autistic-led autism organizations, started lobbying legislation to get it covered by insurances and Medicaid.
ABA is a myth originally sold to parents that it would keep their Autistic child out of an institution. Today, parents are told that with early intervention therapy their child will either be less Autistic or no longer Autistic by elementary school, and can be mainstreamed in typical education classes. ABA is very expensive to pay out of pocket. Essentially, Autism Speaks has justified the big price tag up front will offset the overall burden on resources for an Autistic’s lifetime. The recommendation for this therapy is 40 hours a week for children and toddlers.
The original study that showed the success rate of ABA to be at 50% has never been replicated. In fact, the study of ABA by United States Department of Defense was denounced as a failure. Not just once, but multiple times. Simply stated: ABA doesn’t work. In study after repeated study: ABA (conversion therapy) doesn’t work.
What more recent studies do show: Autistics who experienced ABA therapy are at high risk to develop PTSD and other lifelong trauma-related conditions. Historically, the autism organizations promoting ABA as a cure or solution have silenced Autistic advocates’ opposition. ABA is also known as gay conversion therapy.
The ‘cure’ for Autistics not born yet is the prevention of birth.
The ‘cure’ is a choice to terminate a pregnancy based on ‘autism risk.’ The cure is abortion. This is the same ‘cure’ society has for Down Syndrome.
This is eugenics 2021. Instead of killing Autistics and disabled children in gas chambers or ‘mercy killings’ like in Aktion T4, it’ll happen at the doctor’s office, quietly, one Autistic baby at a time. Different approaches yes, but still eugenics and the extinction of an entire minority group of people.
Fact: You can’t cure Autistics from being Autistic.
Fact: You can’t recover an Autistic from being Autistic.
Fact: You can groom an Autistic to mask and hide their traits. Somewhat. … however, this comes at the expense of the Autistic child, promotes Autistic Burnout (this should not be confused with typical burnout, Autistic Burnout can kill Autistics), and places the Autistic child at high risk for PTSD and other lifelong trauma-related conditions.
[Note: Autism is NOT a disease, but a neurodevelopmental difference and disability.]
Fact: Vaccines Do Not Cause Autism.